Promissory note deal gives 'wriggle room' for Budget - Brian Hayes

Thursday 20 June 2013 20.55
Brian Hayes said the Government had more scope in Budget 2014 but how that was used was another question
Brian Hayes said the Government had more scope in Budget 2014 but how that was used was another question

The Minister of State for Public Service Reform has rejected the IMF's assertion that any benefits from the promissory note deal should not be used to ease the measures in October's Budget.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Brian Hayes said the promissory note deal agreed in February gave the Government "wriggle room" and "more scope" in preparing Budget 2014.

"Obviously there is some wriggle room, a little bit more scope as a result of the successful resolution on the promissory note deal," he said.

"There is wriggle room, but the question is what you do with those additional resources, whether that is done by way of increasing stimulus on the capital side is another question."

The IMF has warned against the growth of "adjustment fatigue" in Ireland after a sixth successive austerity Budget.

Mr Hayes acknowledged that "people can only take so much", but he said an increase in recent growth and employment is a sign that the economy is starting to improve.

The Government has announced a reversal of its decision to sell Coillte harvesting rights, as well as its 25% stake in Aer Lingus.

It refused to rule out the future sale of those assets and Mr Hayes said the stake in Aer Lingus, in particular, could come back on the Government's agenda again.

He said: "We do own 25% of Aer Lingus, in the most recent policy announcement we set out that Aer Lingus was one of the areas that we would look at selling in the right way at the right time.

"There are complicating factors there with the EU Commission and Ryanair as you are aware and I presume when that issue is resolved the issue will be back on the table again."